Paso Robles News|Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Twin Cities frontline workers among first to receive COVID-19 vaccine in SLO County 

Dr. Aiga Charles, medical chief of staff at Twin Cities Hospital, receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Friday.

—Local frontline health care workers today were among the first to get the COVID-19 vaccine in San Luis Obispo County in an event at the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department on Friday.

This marks the beginning of local vaccine distribution. Local public health nurses are giving doses first to frontline health care workers and CVS will give doses to those in long-term care facilities. The county will continue to distribute the vaccine in phases until the vaccine is available to all SLO County residents who would like to receive it.

“I am really glad to get that vaccine. All of us who treat patients are eager to get vaccinated and we hope the public will get vaccinated as soon as it is available. The vaccine doesn’t mean we are out of danger — we still need to stay home, wear masks appropriately and wash our hands frequently — but it’s an important step,” said Dr. Matthew Williams, an emergency physician at both Tenet Health Central Coast’s Twin Cities Community Hospital and Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center. “In the meantime, our hospitals are safe if you need care and, if you’re unsure if you should come into the emergency room, we offer Tele-ER where you can talk with an ER physician to help decide.”

Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer, said: “That light at the end of the tunnel is brighter today. Our frontline health care workers and some of our community’s most vulnerable residents will have critical protection through a safe and effective vaccine. This is one of the most important tools we have for ending the COVID-19 pandemic, but the fight is not over. We must continue to reduce the number of cases locally.”

The county public health department has received 1,950 doses of vaccine and expects to receive more in the weeks ahead. The County is working with partners, including hospitals and EMS organizations, to vaccinate frontline health care workers. Long-term care facilities should receive their first doses by the end of the month and other high-risk individuals can expect to get vaccinated closer to March 2021.

As more supply becomes available, more SLO County residents will be able to receive the vaccine later in 2021. There is no waiting list for the vaccine. Instead, the County will inform the public when vaccines become available for various groups of high-risk individuals and for the general public.

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